Angelina Jolie’s scrapped Cleopatra movie was a political thriller full of assassinations and sex

The original screenwriter of Angelina Jolie’s Cleopatra movie says it was a political thriller full of assassinations and sex.

Cleopatra, Angelina Jolie

Hollywood has been trying to get another Cleopatra movie off the ground for quite some time, and one of those iterations was set to star Angelina Jolie as the iconic Egyptian Queen.

Brian Helgeland was the first writer to take a stab at Angelina Jolie’s Cleopatra movie, and he shared a few details while talking with Inverse. “I was the very first writer on Cleopatra when it was being developed for Angelina Jolie to star in, which was almost made,” Helgeland said. “I don’t have anything to do with the current version unless they call me and want to use my draft.

Helgeland continued, saying the movie “had elements of a political thriller with assassinations and sex,” but at its heart, it was an epic split between Cleopatra’s love affairs with Caesar and Mark Antony. “Lots of true events surprised me when I was writing it. For example, the day Caesar was assassinated — the Ides of March and all that stuff — she was in Rome,” Helgeland explained. “They were leaving for Egypt, and the reason why they had to kill him at that time was because he was headed out of town with her. That’s historically true and featured in the script. She writes Marc Antony’s speech — ‘friends, Romans, countrymen’ — because he doesn’t know what to say, but she tells him what to say. It’s sort of her way of saying ‘f*** you’ to those guys because she’s smart enough and he’s not. I have no idea if that script is being used, but I’ll be very happy if it is.

While Angelina Jolie is no longer attached to the project, there have been several other attempts to bring the story to life. Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was developing one take that would have starred Gal Gadot, but she later dropped out of the project and was replaced by Kari Skogland (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier).

Denis Villeneuve has been tackling his own Cleopatra movie for a number of years. David Scarpa (All The Money in the World) penned the original draft for the project, which is based on the best-selling biography by Stacy Schiff. It was reported earlier this year that Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917) was tackling the latest draft.

Source: Inverse

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.